Here at AudioMachines we like to keep our modernisation of vintage radios as subtle and unobtrusive as possible.
To that end, we try to retain the functionality each device’s original controls, displays, and internals. That said, there are many reasons why it’s sometimes necessary to take a more pragmatic, practical approach:
- Old audio equipment often hasn’t been well looked after, and components deteriorate over time.
- Original parts are often difficult or impossible to source.
- Some original materials are dangerous (asbestos insulation in voltage droppers and formaldehyde in Bakelite are just two examples).
- Valve or tube radios operate at very high voltages and have taken the lives of many good(?) radio repairers over the years.
Embracing the benefits of modern components (where necessary) whilst preservice the aesthetics of the radio and its original features is really important to us:
- We usually only work with low-voltage (via power adapter), USB-powered or battery-powered devices, but sometimes we'll work on 240V transistor radios.
- All our mains-powered devices are PAT tested before leaving the workshop.
- If a radio has a blown speaker, and a replacement original isn't affordable or easy to find, then we'll replace it with a modern, better quality speaker.
- Modern Bluetooth equipment and Class D amplifiers often require regulated power supplies which older equipment might not provide.
- Radios with a predominantly metal case or chassis require an external Bluetooth antenna as the metal blocks the Bluetooth signal.
If you have a vintage radio you want bringing back to original working order before modernising, and we feel it’s beyond our ability, we'll be happy to point you in the direction of one of the many experienced radio repairers in existence. Once that's done, we can work our magic, adding Bluetooth, etc.
If you have a radio which you just want to use as a bluetooth speaker, then we can definitely do that. We charge an up-front £25 to examine the radio on our workbench and devise at least one possible solution.